Robin Don MW

Robin Don MW

Date an MW: 1965
Based in: UK
Profession: Retired

Member profile


After National Service (1st Royal Dragoons) and Cambridge (Trinity), where I was secretary of the Cambridge University Wine & Food Society, I left with a degree in Rural Estate management, which included the greater part of the agriculture syllabus.

I married and spent two miserable years in Barclays Bank, before I was persuaded by Harry Waugh to join John Harvey & Sons Ltd. of Bristol, where for the next eight years I learnt the wine trade.

As a price list editor, with a generous budget, I was able to produce a series of wine lists illustrated by distinguished artists, including David Gentleman and Edward Ardizzone. I was also given the job of assembling Harveys Wine Museum in the old Denmark Street Cellars.

In 1965 I became an MW and the same year left Harveys and started Hicks & Don, joining forces with Ronnie Hicks MW and remaining a director of the business until 2002.

In the mean time I grew 30 acres of fruit and planted Elmham Park vineyard in Norfolk, where I made and sold 25 vintages, before concluding that the short length of the Norfolk viticultural growing season could not deliver regular enough yields to make commercial sense.

In my semi-retirement I am a wine buying consultant.

Books: Off the Shelf (1967), Teach Yourself Wine (1968) Recreations: game fishing, game shooting, lobster fishing, deer stalking, skiing and photography.